IPL: Cricket and cryptocurrency: Polygon-based IPL fan tokens coming soon!

Krishna Prasad
3 min readOct 21, 2021

Aside from two new franchises in the upcoming Indian Premier League (), worldwide cricket supporters are expected to be rewarded with official fan tokens.
“On the table are IPL fan tokens, which will most likely be powered by Polygon,” a source stated on condition of anonymity. According to another source, a formal announcement is expected in December.

Polygon (formerly MATIC) is an Indian blockchain scalability platform that aims to establish a multi-chain ecosystem of Ethereum compatible blockchains. It charges cheaper fees, provides a better customer experience, and has a lower cost per transaction percent (TPS).

Sandeep Nailwal, Polygon’s COO and one of the four co-founders, has also hinted at such a development. “Polygon will have some exciting news about Indian sports coming very soon,” he added.

However, this is not a new phenomenon in the cricket world. Three IPL teams — Punjab Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders — collaborated with Socios earlier this year to develop a token platform to connect fans.

Chilliz, the cryptocurrency unicorn, has invested in Socios, a monetisation platform. Socios’ members include European football heavyweights FC Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, and Atletico de Madrid, among others.

Sharat Chandra, a blockchain and emerging technology enthusiast, predicted that “fan tokens” will be accepted by sports of all stripes. “According to reports, Lionel Messi’s recent deal with Paris Saint-Germain was largely paid for using the club’s fan tokens. “IPL franchisees can use this compensation mechanism in player auctions,” he noted.

Even Bollywood celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan are getting into the crypto arena by releasing non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for their followers and crypto aficionados.

The IPL-based fan tokens will be fungible rather than a non-fungible token. Users can acquire these tokens in the same way that they would any other fungible token like as Bitcoin, Matic, or Ethereum. “Once the fans have these tokens, there may be a number of options for how they may use the utility created around these tokens,” Nailwal explained.

Experts believe that the opportunities for fan involvement are limitless and are immortalised on the blockchain in question. These tokens may let fans to vote or make decisions about their teams, as well as assist in resolving governance concerns. Ownership of such a token may provide users with unique privileges such as retail discounts, invitations to special events, and free tickets.

According to Ishan Arora, Partner of Tykhe Block Ventures, the more tokens fans own, the greater their access and involvement with the team, which will broaden the audience. Football teams, notably in Asia, have utilised this strategy to grow their fan bases. “This will contribute to a more digital, safe, transparent, and authentic fan experience.” It will also pique the curiosity of HNIs,” he added. This possibility improves the IPL’s condition.

According to the US-based financial firm Duff & Phelps, the IPL is India’s most lucrative sporting event, with a brand value of more than Rs 45,800 crore.

The introduction of fan tokens is expected to turn the IPL into a global phenomenon, increasing its popularity and brand value. “It would enable teams to attract fans from different geographies and better interact with the brands and teams,” Nailwal explained.

The teams may either airdrop these tokens for free and then form liquidity pools, or supporters can buy such tokens from the team on a bonding curve. Once listed, the tokens may be purchased on centralised exchanges for secondary trading. However, the rules for listing tokens on CEXs are stringent.

Similar to Nailwal and Chandra, Nailwal and Chandra believe that the success of fan “tokenomics” will help athletic leagues such as the Indian Hockey League, Pro Kabaddi League, Indian Super League, and others.

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